An invitation from the Monroe Free Library's trustees

New team looking for opportunities for better, deeper exchanges with the public regarding the library

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  • Provided photo The Monroe Free Library's Board of Trustees. Pictured from left to right, beginning in front, are: Patricia Shanley and Charlie LeViseur; and standing: Terry Schommer, Ann Marie Buckley, Diane LeViseur, Jack Adkins, Denise Harris, Barbara Zerner and Donna Deming. Casey Auerbach and Elizabeth Walsh also are trustees.

— A new team of trustees has been leading the Monroe Free Library since April and they share a desire to reach out to a broad spectrum of the public with more services, to foster open dialogue and to build on the welcoming environment the staff creates at the recently renovated library.

“We have a dynamic group of new people who came on the board well-apprised of their responsibilities as trustees,” said President Patricia Shanley, “and they have immediately jumped in with new ideas and enthusiasm. Some come with unique expertise which will serve the library well.”

She added that there are several committees meeting on a regular basis and they “are moving forward in areas such as managing the building and grounds needs, changing our by-laws and improving public relations. We enjoy working together for our library and are committed to helping our Director Marilyn McIntosh and her terrific staff keep the Monroe Free Library on the cutting edge of library service to our community.”

Several opportunities are coming up to meet the Trustees at public events in September, including the monthly board meeting on the 11th; the annual Community Yard Sale on the 16th, and a Concert with Bake Sale on the 24th. Everyone is welcome, and the Trustees would love to get to know you.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about them by reading here who they are and why the library is important to each of them.

Patricia Shanley, PresidentOriginally from Syracuse, resident of Monroe since 1975, Shanley is a graduate of LeMoyne College with a BS in Humanities, and an MLS from Syracuse University. A former high school librarian at Pearl River High School, she is the past president of the School Librarians of Southeastern New York and of the Section of School Librarians (formerly SLMS) of the NY Library Association.

“The library has been my passion since I was a child and got my first card at the Hazard Branch Library in Syracuse. To me it represents endless possibilities, adventures and worlds to be explored; open to all.”

Charlie LeViseur, vice presidentLeViseur is an experienced IT Project Manager, and Information Technology professional with over 23 years of IT experience. His background includes a BA in Speech Communications, and he works at JPMorgan Chase and Bank Co. His range of skills from customer service to technical training, supervision to management to helpdesk support has served a variety of offices at small, medium, and large Fortune 500 companies.

“As a Monroe resident for the last 18+years and having a child in the M-W School District, it is important to me to have a place where he can study and have access to resources and programs not offered via the schools, and a safe place to study and meet with his friends. Libraries are the glue that holds towns and communities together”

Casey Auerbach, treasurer A new Monroe resident, Auerbach is a CPA with ‘Big 4’ accounting experience, now working with JetBlue Airways as a corporate auditor.

“As a volunteer firefighter, community has always been a priority for me. The library fosters a strong sense of what makes a town great, and acts to serve the community at its best!”

Ann Marie Buckley, recording secretary

A lifetime resident of Monroe, Buckley has more than 25 years of human resource professional experience. She is the owner of Alden Road Associates, an executive recruiting firm also offering job and life coach services. She is the president of the Mid-Hudson Valley chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management.

“As a child I would borrow stacks of books and devour them, especially over the summer months. I still prefer to hold a book, turning the paper pages, immersing myself in the stories.”

Diane LeViseur, corresponding secretary

LeViseur served as the president of the Library Friends for eight years. She works in the Monroe-Woodbury School District Transportation office.

“Special times with my father were at the Valley Cottage Library where I’d spend hours in the rows of book shelves, and later where I worked. The quiet peacefulness of a library is comforting to me; passing on the love of the library to my son is one of the greatest things I could give him.”

Jack AdkinsCurrently retired, Adkins worked as a researcher and scientist in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries at institutions such as New York University Medical Center, the Sloan-Kettering Institute; a large pharmaceutical company, and a couple of biotechnology firms. An avid reader, he also plays guitar as an amateur musician.

“Books have been important to me since I began to read. As Henry Ward Beecher said “A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.”

Donna DemingDeming moved to Monroe from Manhattan in 2014. After a long career in financial services she changed careers and earned an MSW from NYU. Deming works as a social worker for Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties.

“Even with today’s computers and smart phones and everyone thinking we have all the information we need at our fingertips, I’ve learned never to underestimate the powerful resourcefulness of a librarian. They may point you in directions you have not thought of and are an invaluable resource to the community.”

Denise HarrisWith a background is in legal management, Harris is a NYC branch-office legal manager for a national law firm. Over the years she has been a contributing author to professional publications in the legal industry.

“Growing up, books in our home were sacred. I remember getting my first library card, my heart raced! Libraries are a safe haven, a cornerstone in the community, where you can just be while simultaneously traveling to a different space and time. There is no substitute for this experience.”

Theresa SchommerSchommer owns Treehouse Arts Piano Studio in Monroe. With a BA in music and an MA in arts administration, she worked as communications director for a non-profit music festival for 11 years and as an arts writer at the Times Herald-Record for 12 years before that.

“My dad is standing next me again whenever I’m in a library. Looking for books, a bigger world and new things to learn in a place full of hope, wonder and curiosity.”

Elizabeth WalshWalsh lives in Monroe and works as a labor and delivery nurse.

“I’m pretty passionate about the issues that affect moms and children, and I feel like the library is a vital resource for them.”

Barbara ZernerA Harriman resident, Zerner has served in many capacities on the MFL Board for approximately 20 years.

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